5 Steps Guide to reset a Refrigerator Compressor

Last Updated on December 18, 2022 by CHANDRAMANI

Resetting the refrigerator compressor is very easy and it solves compressor issues of the refrigerator in many cases. You can perform this hard reset before calling the technician as this process can solve your compressor problem quickly and save your money from expensive technician visits.

When to Reset the Refrigerator Compressor?

If the compressor is not shutting down at intervals, making a loud noise, or behaving strangely after a power outage, then resetting the compressor can solve the problems.

Why do you need to reset the refrigerator compressor?

It raises the pressure of the refrigerant. It acts as a pump for the refrigerant and it works by raising the pressure of the refrigerant. Due to high pressure, the temperature is also increased.

The modern refrigerator also shuts down its inverter compressor when the optimum internal temperature is achieved to save energy. This is done by the thermostat which when senses the optimal temperature shuts the compressor and kicks it on when the internal temperature rises. You can read how does a refrigerator work for more info.

If the compressor does not shut down it can lead to frost build-up as after the compressor shuts down defrosting is done automatically. So, to fix this problem you can try resetting the compressor which solves this problem in many cases.

How to reset a refrigerator compressor?

Resetting the compressor can solve refrigerator malfunctioning as well as if it is not getting defrosted. Here is a 4 step guide to reset the refrigerator compressor.

1. Unplug (Disconnect it from power source)

Locate the power plug which is generally at the back of your refrigerator and unplug i.e. disconnect it from the power source. Leave it unplugged for 30-45 minutes.

After unplugging you will hear a woosh or knocking sound as the compressor shuts down. You don’t have to worry about these as these are normal sounds made by them. If you hear any other type of noise, then you can refer to types of refrigerator noises.

2. Adjust the temperature setting to Zero

Adjust the temperature set by the thermostat to zero, this will shut down the freezer and refrigerator section of your unit.

You can also defrost the refrigerator if you notice frost build-up which can happen due to the continuous running of the compressor.

3. Plug-in the refrigerator

After you have set the thermostat to zero, you can now connect the refrigerator to the power source.

4. Adjust the temperature setting to Medium i.e. 5

Set the thermostat to 5 if your thermostat has 1 to 10 settings. You should keep the temperature setting to 40 °F or below i.e. 0ºC to 5ºC. Check out the guide on the Ideal Refrigerator Temperature to Refrigerate Food.

5. Wait for 24 Hours

You should wait for 24 hours for the temperature to stabilize. After you plug in the refrigerator this is the time required by your refrigerator to achieve the temperature set by you.


Resetting the refrigerator is an easy process and often solves refrigerator malfunctioning problems. You should try this before calling an appliance repair company.

Read Next: Best Outdoor Refrigerator

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can you reset a refrigerator by unplugging it?

You can easily reset your refrigerator compressor by unplugging it for 30-45 minutes. In many cases, this solves the refrigerator malfunctioning.

How do you know if your refrigerator compressor is bad?

If you notice your refrigerator is not cooling properly or hear loud abnormal noises from the backside of the refrigerator, then this may be due to the faulty compressor or its parts.

How long does it take for a refrigerator to reset?

A hard reset process takes around 24 hours to complete as after you plug in the refrigerator it can take 24 hours to achieve the set temperature of your thermostat.

Is there a reset button on a refrigerator compressor?

There is no reset button on most refrigerators and you have to unplug it for 30-40 minutes to do a hard reset. If your model has a reset button you should hold it for 30 seconds to reset your refrigerator.

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